Cream of Coconut and Ramp Soup

Create an elegant dish from this wild treasure

This delightful soup is equally good steaming hot or chilled, so you can match it to whatever spring weather is thrown your way. It is also at home on your supper table on a busy weeknight, or to begin an elegant dinner. I’ve served this as the starter for a spring wedding, decorated with flowers, and it was a big hit. You’ll note that this thick, tasty soup can be made with no dairy, no meat, and no gluten to thicken!

This is more a technique than a recipe as the amounts don’t matter as much as what you have on hand and how you want it. If you don’t care for coconut, you can make this really simple by just sautéing the ramps, pureeing them, and adding whatever “cream” you like from heavy cream, half and half, milk, or any non-dairy option.

Rinse a large bunch of ramps really well. They are notorious for harboring lots of grit in the roots. Slice the root end off, then slice the bulb and stem from the tender leaves. Chop the leaves in half or so and set aside.

In a little olive oil sauté an onion or some shallots along with the bulbs and stems of the ramps. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine and let it reduce for three or four minutes. Add one large potato, diced, and one quart of vegetable or chicken stock. Cook until the potatoes are done, then place this all in a food processor. If you are watching your carbs, you can omit the potato, but it adds both body and flavor to the end product.

Once you start to sauté the ramp stems and bulbs, your kitchen will let everyone know that supper is going to be good!

      Kitchen tip: To set the lovely green color of ramps or any lovely spring greens, blanch the leaves for about 30 seconds in some boiling water, then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and add to the food processor. This keeps a beautiful green color, and without this step you run the risk of having your soup look a little grey or olive drab.

Puree the mixture until it is smooth, then add full- or reduced-fat coconut milk, unsweetened, to your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to your taste as well, along with a few grates of nutmeg and the juice of a lemon to wake it all up.

To serve, drizzle with chili oil if you like, or just eat as is.

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